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Graphics: mesa 17.3.7, mesa 18.0.0-rc5, VGA_Switcheroo and More

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  • mesa 17.3.7

    Mesa 17.3.7 is now available.

  • Mesa 17.3.7 Released With A Bunch Of Fixes

    While Mesa 18.0 should finally be out on Friday as the major quarterly update to the Mesa 3D drivers, Mesa 17.3.7 is out today and it's a rather big update for being just another point release to last month's 17.3 series.

    Last week marked the release candidate of Mesa 17.3.7 with 50+ changes and then on Monday came a second release candidate given all the extra patches.

  • mesa 18.0.0-rc5

    The fifth and final release candidate for Mesa 18.0.0 is now available.

  • Mesa 18.0-RC5 Released, Mesa 18.0 Should Finally Be Out On Friday

    Nearly one and a half months since Mesa 18.0-RC4 and nearly one month since last seeing any Git activity on the "18.0" Mesa Git branch, it's finally been updated today with the availability of Mesa 18.0-RC5.

    Mesa release manager Emil Velikov announced this long-awaited release candidate today. He says this is the fifth and final release candidate. Given the month plus since the last RC, there are many fixes/changes in this release: In fact, more than 80 changes in total for Mesa 18.0-RC5.

  • Improved VGA_Switcheroo Going Into Linux 4.17

    Google's Sean Paul has sent in the final drm-misc-next pull request to DRM-Next of new feature material for the upcoming Linux 4.17 kernel cycle.

    Most notable with this final drm-misc-next update is the recent VGA_Switcheroo improvements by Lukas Wunner. This is the device link

  • AMD Posts Open-Source Driver Patches For Vega 12

    It's been a while since last hearing anything about the rumored "Vega 12" GPU but coming out this morning are a set of 42 patches providing support for this unreleased GPU within the mainline Linux kernel.

    Alex Deucher of AMD's Linux driver team sent out the 42 patches this morning providing initial support for Vega 12 within the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver.

  • DXVK Now Has An On-Disk Shader Cache

    DXVK, the exciting project implementing the Direct3D 11 API over Vulkan for Wine gamers, now has an on-disk shader cache.

  • Freedreno's MSM DRM Driver Continues Prepping For Adreno 600 Series Support

    Rob Clark has submitted the MSM DRM driver changes to DRM-Next for the Linux 4.17 kernel for benefiting Qualcomm SoC owners.

    Changes this cycle for the open-source MSM DRM driver include DSI updates, fixing some race conditions, DebugFS enhancements, MDP5 fixes, and refactoring/prep work for the Adreno 600 series support.

  • NVIDIA's Jetson TK1 Is Being EOL'ed Next Month

    Easily one of our favorite ARM single-board computers ever, the Jetson TK1 from NVIDIA, will be facing retirement next month.

    A Phoronix reader has tipped us off that NVIDIA has sent out their EOL notice that shipments of the Jetson TK1 developer kits will be ending by the end of April. Following that, it will just live on until distributors run out of their inventory.

Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux With Radeon / GeForce GPUs On The Latest 2018 Drivers

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Given how fiercely the latest open-source AMD Linux driver code is running now up against NVIDIA's long-standing flagship Linux GPU driver, you might be curious how well that driver stacks up against the Radeon Software driver on Windows? Well, you are in luck as here are some fresh benchmarks of the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 as well as the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 Ti while being tested both under Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS while using the latest AMD/NVIDIA drivers on each platform.

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Latest on Radeon/AMDGPU Graphics

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  • Radeon Pro 18.Q1.1 Enterprise Edition Released For Linux Workstations

    AMD on Monday quietly released their quarterly update to the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition Linux driver that is derived from their AMDGPU-PRO stack for FirePro / Radeon Pro class hardware.

    Like with AMDGPU-PRO, Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Edition 18.Q1.1 remains focused on supporting the enterprise Linux distributions including Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS and RHEL/CentOS 6 (6.9) and 7 (7.4).

  • AMDGPU DC's Latest 34 Patches Provide More Fixes

    Another week, another code drop derived from AMD's internal driver code-base providing an updated DC display code stack.

    This week's collection of 34 AMDGPU DC patches are mostly comprised of general fixes. Surprisingly no mentions of Raven Ridge (and only one patch mentioning DCN), so it's looking like at least from the display side things are calming down for those Vega+Zen APUs -- I've been running tests the past day and will have an update later today or tomorrow on the situation.

A new era for Linux's low-level graphics - Part 1

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Over the past couple of years, Linux's low-level graphics infrastructure has undergone a quiet revolution. Since experimental core support for the atomic modesetting framework landed a couple of years ago, the DRM subsystem in the kernel has seen roughly 300,000 lines of code changed and 300,000 new lines added, when the new AMD driver (~2.5m lines) is excluded. Lately Weston has undergone the same revolution, albeit on a much smaller scale.

Daniel Vetter's excellent two-part series on LWN covers the details quite well, but in short atomic has two headline features. The first is better display control: by grouping all configuration changes together, it is possible to change display modes more quickly and more reliably, especially if you have multiple monitors. The second is that it allows userspace to finally use overlay planes in the display controller for composition, bypassing the GPU.

A third, less heralded, feature is that the atomic core standardises user-visible behaviour. Before atomic, drivers had very wide latitude to implement whatever user-facing behaviour they liked. As a result, each chipset had its own kernel driver and its own X11 driver as well. With the rewrite of the core, backed up by a comprehensive test suite, we no longer need hardware-specific drivers to take full advantage of hardware features. With the substantial rework of Weston's DRM backend, we can now take full advantage of these. Using atomic gives us a smoother user experience, with better performance and using less power, whilst still being completely hardware-agnostic.

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Fresh Benchmarks Of CentOS 7 On Xeon & EPYC With/Without KPTI/Retpolines

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While every few weeks or so we have ended up running benchmarks of the latest Linux Git kernel to see the evolving performance impact of KPTI (Kernel Page Table Isolation) and Retpolines for Meltdown and Spectre V2 mitigation, respectively, a request came in last week from a premium supporter to see some new comparison test runs on CentOS 7 with its older 3.10-evolved kernel.

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Graphics: Mesa/Mali, Wayland 1.15 Beta, and Mesa 17.3.7 RC2

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  • Reverse-Engineering of ARM Mali "Midgard" Now Has A Working NIR Shader Compiler

    Earlier this year work on the "Chai" open-source Mali T700 GPU driver resumed with an aim to get a working Mesa driver for this "Midgard" graphics architecture. There's still a long battle ahead, but their NIR shader compiler is beginning to work.

    Alyssa Rosenzweig remains the main developer working on this Chai driver effort but with using some remnants done by Luc and Connor during the Lima driver days. Her focus lately has been on assembler and shader support for this reverse-engineered driver for ARM Mali graphics.

  • Wayland 1.15 Beta Released With Weston 4.0 Beta

    The beta releases are available today of Wayland 1.15 and the Weston 4.0 reference compositor.

    Wayland 1.15 is another relatively modest cycle. Wayland 1.15 pulls in libwayland-egl where as before that library was part of Mesa, making some semantics of Wayland more clear in the documentation, improvements to wayland-scanner, and some minor API additions.

  • Mesa 17.3.7 RC2 Issued With Even More Patches

    Last week the release candidate of Mesa 17.3.7 was issued with more than 50 patches queued. That count grew more over the weekend resulting in an additional release candidate.

    Mesa point releases tend to get just one RC and a few days of testing before going gold, but on top of the 50 patches last week another handful of patches were since proposed and queued up for this increasingly large point release. The very latest patches include a RADV Vulkan driver fix by Feral Interactive, and several other RADV and Intel Vulkan fixes.

Radeon GPUs Are Increasingly Competing With NVIDIA GPUs On Latest RadeonSI/RADV Drivers

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As it's been a few weeks since last delivering a modest Linux GPU comparison and given the continuously evolving state of the Linux kernel Git tree as well as the Mesa project that houses the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers, here are our latest benchmarks showing the current state of the AMD Radeon open-source Linux graphics driver performance relative to NVIDIA's long-standing and high-performance but proprietary driver using several different graphics cards.

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Wine 3.4 and Vulkan

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  • The WineHQ Wine development release 3.4 is now available for Linux and Mac

    The WineHQ Wine development release 3.4 is now available for Linux and Mac

  • Wine Developers Determining How To Handle Vulkan Loader Support

    While this week's Wine 3.4 release delivers on working Wine Vulkan ICD support for beginning to allow Windows Vulkan programs to work under Wine assuming the host has Vulkan API support, this current implementation still requires the user to install the Windows Vulkan SDK.

    At the moment those wanting to use Windows Vulkan games/applications under Wine still need to download the LunarG Vulkan SDK for Windows in order to obtain the Vulkan loader (DLL) for pairing with Wine's Vulkan ICD driver.

Graphics: X.Org Foundation Board of Directors and Vulkan

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  • Six Candidates Are Vying For This Year's X.Org Foundation Board

    There are six candidates running for this year's X.Org Foundation Board of Directors with four seats being open this election.

    Those six candidates for this year's X.Org elections include Eric Anholt (Broadcom), Robert Foss (Collabora), Bryce Harrington (Samsung), Keith Packard (HP), Laurent Pinchart (Ideas on Board), and Harry Wentland (AMD).

  • Vulkan 1.1.71 Released As The First Update To Vulkan 1.1

    The first point release to the Vulkan 1.1 release from earlier this month is now available. Vulkan 1.1 promoted a lot of functionality to core while also officially adding sub-groups and protected content support. This Vulkan 1.1.71 point release adds a new extension and fixes.

    This first point release to Vulkan 1.1 is officially version 1.1.71. This is because when Vulkan 1.1 was created, Khronos decided not to reset the patch number... Vulkan 1.1 was technically 1.1.70 and not 1.1.0. So now with this first update it's bumped to Vulkan 1.1.71.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Updated With Improvements For Sub-Groups & Multi-View

    The AMD developers working on their official cross-platform "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver have updated their open-source code-base for Linux users.

    On Friday the AMD developers pushed to the open-source repository their latest work, their first update since introducing Vulkan 1.1 support back on launch day earlier this month.

Graphics: AMDGPU, Mesa 17.3.7, RADV

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  • Linux 4.17 To Enable AMDGPU DC By Default For All Supported GPUs

    Since the introduction of the AMDGPU DC display code (formerly known as DAL) in Linux 4.15, this modern display stack has just been enabled by default for newer Radeon Vega and Raven Ridge devices. With Linux 4.17 that is changing with AMDGPU DC being enabled by default across the board for supported GPUs.

    Building off the earlier DRM-Next material for Linux 4.17, Alex Deucher minutes ago sent in another round of feature updates for targeting this next kernel cycle. This latest batch has continued code refactoring around PowerPlay, support for fetching the video RAM type from the video BIOS, allowing the TTM memory manager to drop its backing store when not needed, DC bandwidth calculation updates, enabling DC backlight control for pre-DCE11 GPUs, various display code fixes, and other bug fixes.

  • AMDGPU / ATI 18.0.1 X.Org DDX Driver Releases, Fixes Infinite Loop & Crashes

    Michel Dänzer of AMD issued bug-fix updates on Thursday for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers.

    Just two weeks after the AMDGPU 18.0 X.Org driver release as the first version under their new year-based versioning scheme, the 18.0.1 bug-fix release is out. The xf86-video-amdgpu 18.0.1 DDX update fixes a potential infinite loop after a xorg-server reset in some configurations, Xorg crashing when multiple primary screens are configured, and using the TearFree feature could trigger Pixman library debugging spew.

  • Mesa 17.3.7 Nearing Release With 50+ Changes

    While waiting for Mesa 18.0, the Mesa 17.3.7 point release will soon hit stable users of this open-source, user-space graphics stack.

  • RADV Patches Are Closer For Sub-Group Capabilities

    Daniel Schürmann continues hacking on the sub-group patch-set for the RADV Vulkan driver to expose this important feature of the recent Vulkan 1.1 release.

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